Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pressure to be Productive

November 27, 2011
Enabling Productivity
Leo Daily Horoscope
You may feel tense and anxious about your obligations today. You might be working under tight deadlines or trying to complete a project with time to spare. While your environment might be causing some pressure, you might also consider whether your own thoughts are working against you. If you set your expectations too high, you might feel the need to push too hard or place unreasonable demands upon yourself. You can easily improve your productivity today by creating a mind-set that encourages clarity and efficiency. Rather than pressuring yourself to move faster, you can instead choose to let go of tense thoughts and affirm that there is plenty of time to accomplish all of your tasks. Then take a few minutes to clear your mind and sharpen your focus so you can work undistracted.

By taking time to clear our minds of tension and scattered thoughts, we give ourselves the ability to work productively. Though it may seem counterproductive to take time away from our work to foster a calm mind-set and balanced approach, doing this contributes to a stronger level of concentration, which helps us get more work done in less time. Not only does our productivity improve but we enjoy the process more fully and end up feeling proud about our accomplishments. If you release your anxious thoughts and instead create a mind-set of clarity and calm today, you should see an improvement in your attitude as well as your work flow. 

Today's Daily Om really struck a chord with me. Like many of you, no doubt, I'm feeling the pressure of the holiday season, trying to get too much done in too little time.  Though I am "fortunate" to be unemployed (how's that for putting a positive spin on it?) and therefore have more leisure hours at my disposal, this just means I push myself to clean more, decorate more, bake more, create more, do more!  I've begun more crafty holiday projects than ever before, for personal gifts as well as to sell at craft fairs.  Add that to the fact that I am living as a gypsy now, back & forth to three separate homes, my stuff strewn about from one end of the state to to other, and you have a real pressure cooker situation.  So I'm going to follow my horoscope's advice and take some time today to breathe, clear my mind, and focus on what really needs to be done.  Perhaps a few minutes in front of the Christmas tree (once it's decorated, that is) with some hot chocolate would help?  This one, from one of my favorite books/movies from all time, will do nicely.


Chile may have lost favour as an ingredient in chocolate dishes in Europe, but for me this sweet, spiced version of hot chocolate is the best morning drink: rich, dark, and invigorating enough to keep me going until lunchtime.
  • 1 2/3 cups milk 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise 1/2 cinnamon stick 1 hot red chile, halved and seeded 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet (70 percent) chocolate Brown sugar to taste (optional)
  • Whipped cream, chocolate curls, cognac, or Amaretto, to serve
Place the milk in a saucepan, add the vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and chile, and gently bring it to a shivering simmer for 1 minute. Grate the chocolate and whisk it in until it melts. If you must, then add brown sugar, but do try without it. Take off the heat and allow it to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove the vanilla, cinnamon, and chile. Return to the heat and bring gently back to a simmer. Serve in mugs topped with whipped cream, chocolate curls, or a dash of cognac or Amaretto.



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